Tributes have been paid to Nelson RFC hooker Owen Bennett, who has died at the age of 20.
Bennett represented Dragons at age-group level while coming through the ranks at Caerphilly. He had recently joined Division One East side Nelson.
“Absolutely devastated today to hear of the passing of one of our newly signed players Owen Bennett,” read a statement on Nelson RFC’s Facebook page.
“Owen was a promising prospect and an all-round great character.”
Caerphilly chairman Gareth Ashman said: “It is horrendous news and we’re all devastated.
“You always hear about people being the life and soul and Owen really was. He was always having a laugh.
“When you think he’s been playing senior team rugby for probably two years, he was a bit of a beast in great shape and a very physical player.”
News of Owen’s death saw tributes flood in from friends, former players and clubs on social media.
Always check on your friends/family/people you were once friends with. Whether they’re the happiest of souls or the quietest who keep to themselves. You NEVER ever know what’s going through someone’s mind- that one check up could save someone in need. Rest in peace Owen Bennett❤️— Kelsey Thomas (@kelsey_thomasxx) July 22, 2019
Everyone at Wales Rugby League is saddened to learn about the sudden passing of former @AberValleyW #rugbyleague and @YGCRhAddGorff Champion Schools player Owen Bennett, aged just 21. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his friends, family and all his former team-mates. RIP. pic.twitter.com/OGYnJgcs2b— Wales Rugby League 🏴 (@WalesRugbyL) July 22, 2019